Politically connected insurance titan 'Mickey' Segal freed from federal prison

May 29, 2012 4:16:07 PM PDT
Tarnished insurance magnate Michael ''Mickey'' Segal, a fixture on Chicago's Gold Coast, is a free man after his prison sentence was cut short on Tuesday by a federal judge.

Segal, 69, once owned the successful Near North Brokerage and made a huge personal fortune by selling policies to the notable and notorious and to businesses. His firm insured O'Hare Airport.

The Segal empire crumbled in 2004 when he was convicted of 26 counts of racketeering, fraud, embezzlement and other charges. The brokerage firm was also convicted of 11 counts of mail fraud, seven of making false statements and three of embezzlement.

Today U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo, who originally sentenced Segal to 10-years in prison, allowed him to go free in lieu of "time served" after a higher court ordered his sentence reviewed.

At the time of his original sentencing Judge Castillo said that Segal had two sides, one was very charming and nice, but that there was evidence that Segal had a side that was "mean-spirited, immoral and unethical."

Today in court Castillo appeared reluctant to alter his original sentence but said he had to be fair under the law.

Segal's attorneys claimed that he would not have received such a stiff sentence had it not been influenced by the so-called theft of "honest services" law that has since been struck down.

Today Judge Castillo told Segal that he has still not accepted responsibility for what he did. "You took insurance premium money as a personal piggy bank." Castillo said it would be easy for him to continue the sentence because of your lack of remorse. "Because honest services did affect how I sentenced you" Castillo resentenced the one-time insurance titan to time served, three years of supervised release and 120 hours of community service.

In a brief statement, Mr. Segal said he looked forward to returning to his family.

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